The Montessori method at the LuckyKids children’s summer camp

LuckyKids in summer 2018 photo 14

Description of the application of the method in the camp

The Montessori method is education, discipline and training applying the rules of Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952). Dr. Maria Montessori was the first woman in Italy who has received medical education. She has made a unique contribution to science. After graduating, she began working as a pediatrician in a psychiatric clinic at the University of Rome.

Initially, she devoted herself to children with mental disabilities, and in a few years she began developing a method of working with these children. Since 1909 she started publishing books, which are a product of her overall work with children.

In one of her numerous works, Maria Montessori has formulated short rules for parents, kind of highlights for them:

  • Children learn from what surrounds them. If you often criticize them, the children learn to criticize and judge.
  • If you often praise the child – he/she will learn to value others. 
  • If you demonstrate hostility to the child, he/she will learn to fight.
  • If you are honest with the child, he/she will learn how to be fair.  
  • If you laugh at the child, he/she becomes timid and obedient.
  • If a child lives with a sense of safety, he/she learns to trust.
  • If you often point out the mistakes of the child, he/she will develop a sense of guilt. 
  • If you often approve the actions of the child, he/she will learn how to treat himself/herself in a good way. 
  • If you are lenient to the child, he/she learns how to be patient. 
  • If you encourage the child, he/she will develop self-confidence.
  • If the child lives in an amicable environment and feels important and loved, he/she learns how to find love in the world. 
  • Do not talk badly about the child, neither in his/her absence nor in his/her presence. 
  • Concentrate on the development of good character of the child, so that there will be no room for the bad side.  
  • Always listen to the child and answer him/her when he/she addresses you.
  • Respect the child when he/she has made a mistake and wants to fix it at a later stage. 
  • Be prepared to help a child who asks questions and seeks answers.
  • Help the child to learn things that he/she hasn’t learned at an early age.
  • Treat the child with care, respect, calm tone and love.
  • When speaking with your child, always adhere to the good manners, demonstrate good attitude and good intentions.

These are the golden rules at the LuckyKids children‘s summer camp, which we follow as professionals:

  • We teach children through their surrounding environment;
  • We praise and encourage children, so we teach them to appreciate things and be self-confident;
  • We are honest with the children, so we teach them how to be fair;
  • We provide children with safety, so we teach them to trust;
  • We show our approval to the children and we teach them to feel good about themselves;
  • We are lenient to the children, so we teach them to be patient;
  • We provide an atmosphere of friendship and understanding, so we teach them to find love in their everyday life;
  • We always talk good about the child in his/her presence as well as in his/her absence;
  • We focus on developing goodness in the child so that there will be no room for bad sides;
  • We always listen to the child and answer him/her when he/she addresses us;
  • We respect the child when he/she has made a mistake and later wants to fix it;
  • We are ready to help the child when he/she asks questions and looks for answers;
  • We help the child learn things that he/she hasn‘t learned at an early age;
  • When we turn to the child, we always demonstrate good attitude and manners;
  • We treat the child with care, tolerance, calm tone and love.

What Lucky Kids uses in practice from the Montessori method in its everyday life also affects the learning process

LuckyKids in summer 2018 photo 4

Here are the principles of the method that are part of our learning process:

    1. We apply an independent approach to every childthis is one of the guiding principles in our training. We treat each child individually as he/she has its peculiarities; we observe the child, explore its needs and interests, and respect those needs and interests accordingly; 
    2. We respect and encourage the child and follow his/her emotions and ability to perceive. Independence and exploration of the world are fundamental principles of the Montessori method. They must be combined with respect for the child and encouragement of his/her emotions and the ability to perceive the surrounding world.
    3.  We give the child the freedom to explore the surrounding environment. Children should be able to get to know the world both indoors and outdoors. The child is safe with us and studies the world peacefully and confidently. With the English lessons in the camp, the child learns about the world of culture, art, language. With outdoor activities, the child studies the world outside – the beauty and variety of nature /plants, geographical locations – mountains, lakes, forests, natural landmarks/
    4. We give the child the opportunity to explore the world through touch. The practice is much more important than theory in the Montessori method, the child learns about the variety of materials by touching them. 
    5. We focus on the practical activities and the development of sensory skills not only in pre-school but also in school age. All activities in LuckyKids, from classes to physical activities, stimulate also greater precision of the senses, movement control, balance and stability, sense of order, concentration, coordination and independence. 
    6. We provide materials appropriate for both the age and the height of the child. We use appropriate furniture and all materials are placed in child-friendly places..
    7. We do not interrupt the work process of our children. Instead, we give them the opportunity to concentrate and develop lastingly this ability. In this way, children do not need prizes, they see both the beginning of the process and the achievement – the biggest prize for each child
  • We make the environment as attractive and interesting for work as possible. Our classrooms and places of rest are arranged in such a way as to support the child’s intellectual development, to provoke his interests. 
  • We show the child in advance what we expect from him/her and how everything is done. There is no way a child knows how a process is running or how something is done if we do not show it to him/her.
  • When we suggest an activity, we make sure that the child exercises only one distinctive skill. For example, objects are different in color, but their shape is the same.

Photo 3 of LuckyKids in summer 2018

The advantages of the Montessori method are numerous

The most important of these and, in fact, those that work here at the LuckyKids summer camp are

  • Skills related to order, concentration, independence, coordination 
  • Children are free to study at their own pace and in their own way 
  • They feel protected as part of a community 
  • They enjoy freedom within the limits of the sphere of education 
  • The kids become active knowledge seekers 
  • They learn to look critically at their own work and learn to correct their mistakes

And in conclusion, as Dr. Maria Montessori says: “Children are like butterflies carried by the wind. Some may rise higher than others, but they all fly in the best way they can. Why compare them to each other? Each one is different. Each one is special. Every one is wonderful.“.